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Taking Care of Family January 8, 2006

Posted by table4five in Uncategorized.

I’ve been putting off writing this post for some time now. Not because I didn’t want to share the information, but because I think of my blog more as a place to post general thoughts and amusing stories, not serious, personal stuff. But now is as good a time as any, BC and Kaitlyn are napping and the boys are playing together quietly, so I have a chance to collect my thoughts.

My mother-in-law has been diagnosed with Cervical Cancer. She is having a hysterectomy at a hospital near where we live on January 20 and then coming to stay with us while she recovers. I’m a little fuzzy on the details, but I know that an MRI showed a small tumor in her cervix, but it has not spread anywhere else. Her oncologist is confident that the surgery will remove it all.

I reacted to this news the same way I do when any family member is seriously ill- I want to know what, when, where, why. I focus on what needs to be done, what are the dates and times. Where do they need to be, what time should they get there. I’m not trying to trivialize the seriousness of the situation, and it’s not that I don’t feel sad or scared or worried. I just feel like it’s more productive for me to stay positive and assume that everything will be okay rather than dwell on the potential scariness of the situation.

And believe me when I say that this is NOT what I am like in other situations. Normally I am a HUGE worrier, constantly fretting about one thing or another. But when it comes to illness and hospitals and surgery, I find that I have to stay focused. Otherwise I would become a complete basket case with all the worrying I would do.

The kids know that Nana needs an operation and that she is coming to stay with us. They are both very sensitive and empathetic and I think they’ll do just fine with her here. She’s bringing her dog, a medium size mutt named “Elvis”, and I know they’re looking forward to that. I don’t have any idea what the recovery from a hysterectomy is like, but the boys were really helpful when I came home from having Kaitlyn, so I would expect nothing less this time.

So that’s what is happening in our lives this month. The surgery is January 20 and she’ll be here until the first week of February at least. If anybody reading this knows what the recovery from a hysterectomy is like, please feel free to post your suggestions on helping her through it.



1. Dawn - January 9, 2006


I am so sorry to hear of your MIL’s cancer. However, it does sound as if she is getting good medical care and they are agressively treating this.

I have not had a Hysterectomy, but My Gramm did and my Mom and Aunt have had some laser Conization (sp?) done. I suspect that you’ll know from the C-section what she feels like. Tired and achey and out of sorts.

Oh – And we got the Box! Emily snatched everything from me and ran away with it. Thank you for the fun!!!

2. Nancy - January 9, 2006


I am very sorry to hear about your mother in law’s diagnosis. I wish her a speedy recovery and I hope the whole family is able to enjoy her visit despite the circumstances.

My best work friend had a hysterectomy last fall — hers was through the laparoscopy, though, so a different kind of surgery (I’d imagine) from what your MIL will be facing. I do know that she took several weeks off of work to be sure she was completely recovered, and the first week or so she was pretty well doped up on pain medicine. She found though that as long as she didn’t overdo too much the recovery was uneventful. She had her moments for a couple of months when certain activities made her uncomfortable (like getting in and out of the car), but she took her time and tried to be gentle.

If you think you will have more specific suggestions let me know — I’ll be happy to ask J (my friend).

3. Beth - January 9, 2006

Elizabeth — I’m so sorry to hear this!! I have no family or personal experience with hysterectomies, but my sister has had some ovarian cysts removed. She had some pain, but we just made sure she stayed off her feet for a while — at least a week, I think. She was sore for a while, too. You sound like a very caring and competent DIL. and I’m sure the boys are going to be great! and remember to take time for yourself – you’re a new mom and you need care, too!!!

4. Nixie Knox - January 9, 2006

I am sorry to hear about your mother-in-law. It is really scary when a family member goes through something traumatic like that. My mother-in-law had open heart surgery and it was pretty tough because she was in California and we were here – she refused to allow us to come for the surgery.

Anyway, I will be thinking of you and hoping that everything goes well with her hysterectomy.

5. Fraulein N - January 10, 2006

I have no idea how to get through something like this, but I’ll keep your family in my thoughts.

6. Mightymouse Mommy - January 12, 2006

Sis, here’s what I know about hysterectomies and about mom’s condition specifically.

Mom has stage 2 cancer – by definition this means that it has local and regional spread. That’s why they’re doing a complete hysterectomy – to get any areas that it has spread to out. Of course there’s really no way for them to be 100% sure about anything until they’re actually performing the surgery.

As for recovery time, I’ve asked my doctor about it as well as three other women that I know that have had hysterectomies. *Generally* 6-8 weeks is considered an average recovery time for complete recovery. I’m not sure how long she’ll need to stay at your home though.

And don’t fret about getting behind on your blog – I’m horridly behind, especially on posting Parker’s 1st birthday pictures (MY MIL has even emailed me a couple I think as a subtle hint hehe) but every time I have a quiet minute to do it I just think…. naaaaapp. Of course, the flu will do that to a gal lol.

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